Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
 

DS Forums

 
 
 

Countdown - so much better these days!


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14-02-2014, 23:00
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,662

I've always admired Neil Sedaka, a former Julliard student (as was Miles Davis) he was able to write tunes using more than four chords.
The art being foreign to many pop song writers of many eras. I've a couple of 45s of his in one of my jukeboxes, although he wrote a considerable number of hits both for himself and other artists in an "in out in" career covering several decades.

Good programme.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Please sign in or register to remove this advertisement.
Old 14-02-2014, 23:12
Ex Pat
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Just passin' through
Posts: 2,001
Thanks for the reminder. Never used to be a fan but came to appreciate him later. OK I lie, there was a couple of his songs I really loved but it wasn't cool to admit to it
Ex Pat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2014, 23:14
carl.waring
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Knaresborough, North Yorks
Posts: 19,331
Some of the best songs only have four chords. Status Quo have made a good living out of it

Yes, a great programme. Might even have to dust of my version of "Solitaire" (I have a Yamaha keyboard; though I play it in the easier key of E and not Eb as shown on-screen.)
carl.waring is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 14-02-2014, 23:22
TRIPS
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,614
Always played Neil's songs. great show and very interesting life story.
Nobody can write songs like Neil does by accident, takes years of study, He has wrote some beautiful songs i have never grown tired of listening too.
TRIPS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 00:39
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,662
Always played Neil's songs. great show and very interesting life story.
Nobody can write songs like Neil does by accident, takes years of study, He has wrote some beautiful songs i have never grown tired of listening too.
Personally, I think he was "of his time" as a performer. A lot of it for some is all about nostalgia.

A man of near seventy-five singing a song in a falsetto voice about a sixteen year-old girl doesn't seem quite right now.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 00:46
RoseAnne
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 892
Not a great fan of his music, but I really love his song "The Hungry Years". The lyrics are beautiful and wistful and usually brings a tear to my eye.
RoseAnne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 00:48
Summer Breeze
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: County Dave
Posts: 2,490
I am sure as a very little girl I saw him at a theatre with my Mum.
Summer Breeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 01:08
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,662
I am sure as a very little girl I saw him at a theatre with my Mum.
Very likely, he toured the clubs in the UK when he couldn't get work in the UK.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 01:30
TRIPS
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,614
Personally, I think he was "of his time" as a performer. A lot of it for some is all about nostalgia.

A man of near seventy-five singing a song in a falsetto voice about a sixteen year-old girl doesn't seem quite right now.
I take your point about an old man singing in a falsetto voice but he was explaining how he composed the songs and not giving a performance, I think music means different things to people, that would take pages to write but i agree many people love the old songs out of nostalgia.
For me it's the technical side of music that a trained musician like Neil writes I appreciate.
It has nothing to do with nostalgia, plenty of songs I liked years ago I knew were technically crap and if they were played now I would still think they are technically crap, I never enjoyed Burt Bacharach when they were released but I knew his music was on a different level to nearly everyone, my tastes have changed over the years and I love a lot of his music.
It takes a lot of studying and hard work for years just to have the tools to begin composing music to their standard.
TRIPS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 02:30
ffa1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 415
Very good show. He came alive at the piano in his apartment - those were the best bits.

Nice to see Connie Francis too.

It's actually a repeat. I remember watching it a couple of years ago.
ffa1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 09:55
Archie Duke
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,558
He's a driven and ambitious person, but extremely warm and likeable, a tricky thing to do in Showbiz.

I didn't know his career took a dive in the US and he decamped to the UK for a few years.

The number of hit songs he's had over the years came as a surprise, either himself OR covered by others. Solitaire is a sublime song.

Top Geezer.
Archie Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 10:19
Zizu58
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,588
I actually love his song writing but I can't abide his whiney voice . Maybe I should look up some cover versions of his songs done by decent singers .
Zizu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 10:26
Archie Duke
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,558
I missed that bit in detail, did his Mum and her boyfriend diddle Neil out of his royalties or something ?

What a bummer, your own Ma [ who he was devoted to ]
Archie Duke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 10:48
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,662
I take your point about an old man singing in a falsetto voice but he was explaining how he composed the songs and not giving a performance, I think music means different things to people, that would take pages to write but i agree many people love the old songs out of nostalgia.
For me it's the technical side of music that a trained musician like Neil writes I appreciate.
It has nothing to do with nostalgia, plenty of songs I liked years ago I knew were technically crap and if they were played now I would still think they are technically crap, I never enjoyed Burt Bacharach when they were released but I knew his music was on a different level to nearly everyone, my tastes have changed over the years and I love a lot of his music.
It takes a lot of studying and hard work for years just to have the tools to begin composing music to their standard.

It's a well known fact that the better songwriters like Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter etc., (as did Sedaka but not always) and although I've never particularly liked them even Abba, usually start with the tune and then work out the chord structure.

A lot of popular song writers, particular from the fifties, started with a basic chord progression and write the song around it, this is limiting and why many songs sound familiar. In fact if you take the top line away, there are many songs that could be sung to the same "left hand" accompaniment.

This can of course work OK with Blues.
There are several variations of a blues tune's structure;
With passing chords, without passing chords, "round the clock" with a cycle of 4ths and variations on that.

You can go "stratospheric," Miles Davis (another ex-Julliard student) once remarking that, "he could work any chord into any tune."


I missed that bit in detail, did his Mum and her boyfriend diddle Neil out of his royalties or something ?

What a bummer, your own Ma [ who he was devoted to ]
Yes his mother and her lover an air-conditioning salesman who "managed him" spent all the money from his early hits and made him bankrupt, he then went from scraping a living, earning he said, $30,000 a year, to his first year after his come back, $6,000,000.

You of course, can "double your money" writing, recording and singing your own material.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 12:14
Killary45
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,409
I missed that bit in detail, did his Mum and her boyfriend diddle Neil out of his royalties or something ?

What a bummer, your own Ma [ who he was devoted to ]
There is an interesting interview Sedaka gave a few years ago when he went to Israel for a concert. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7...963242,00.html

The whole piece is interesting, but this is about Neil and his mother:

Your mother didn't even want you.

"My mother gave birth to my sister a year and a half earlier. It was a very difficult pregnancy and she almost lost my sister and her life while giving birth. The doctors advised her not to give birth again. They said it would put her life in risk. So my mother tried to miscarry by getting on the roller coaster at the famous Coney Island amusement park again and again."

How did you find out about it?

"What do you mean? She told me about it. I was 12."

Isn't it a little problematic to tell a 12-year-old such a thing?

"No, not at all. We were very good friend. We could talk about everything."

Perhaps that's what made her want you. Being the good son, trying to be the man everyone loves at any cost?

"No, no. Not at all. She had a very bad pregnancy and she almost couldn't give birth again. That's all, that's the whole story."

Over the years she became your manager, while at the same time, at the height of your success, you and your wife lived off a monthly salary of $1,000. You didn't even have a credit card before the age of 32.

"My mother had a lover for 30 years, and my father accepted it. He was very poor and told my mother, 'Honey, if there's someone taking care of you and of all your needs it's fine with me. As long as you go out to nice restaurants and it doesn't cost me one cent, it's okay. The important thing is that you're happy.'

"She told my sister and me about it when I was 20. She managed me, and not so good it seems, but I was okay with everything until she suggested that her partner manage me. He was an air conditioning systems salesman, and he managed me for four or five years, and it was pretty bad. He had no idea. My career was down. In the end, when I informed them that they were no longer my managers, my mother tried to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills."

And how did you react to that?

"I thought she had lost her senses. She was depressed. And yet, a few months later we all got over it. I never spoke to her lover since then, but they stayed together until he died. My mother was premature. I don't think it would be odd today for a man or woman to have a mistress or lover."

Weren't you angry at her? She left your father alone.


"No, not at all. My father and mother went on living together all those years. Moreover, we all went on vacations together: My wife, me, my mother, my father and the lover. It was a lot of fun."

Really?

Really, really. We were one big happy family. We all traveled together, had fun and enjoyed ourselves."

And where did your mother sleep at night?

"She would move from one to the other."

She must have been pretty fit.

"She must have, ha? They had a very open relationship. It's an entirely different approach. It's not my approach, but as long as it worked for them, everything's fine."
Killary45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 14:14
postit
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,422
I enjoyed the programme, however, I prefer the songs to actually watching him sing. Same goes for Barry Manilow, lovely songs, but it makes me cringe to watch him singing them.
postit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 14:17
cavalli
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,702
I always get him mixed up with Paul Anka and Neil Diamond
cavalli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 14:26
Summer Breeze
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: County Dave
Posts: 2,490
Very likely, he toured the clubs in the UK when he couldn't get work in the UK.


Yes I am sure I did now, it was in Harrogate I think.
I really enjoyed that show last night until I fell asleep watching it.
Summer Breeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 17:45
Eurostar
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Dublin
Posts: 41,180
He's a fine writer of pop songs, they're always very catchy. I don't think he's as good as Burt Bacharach but he always knew how to turn out a tune.
Eurostar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2014, 18:56
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,662
He's a fine writer of pop songs, they're always very catchy. I don't think he's as good as Burt Bacharach but he always knew how to turn out a tune.
Yes, but considering his contemporary song writers, nowhere near as good as Carol King/Gerry Goffin and of course Felice and Boudleaux Bryant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTYe9eDqxe8

And as my fellow Motown enthusiasts will attest, the far more prolific.

Holland, Dozier, Holland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5k0GDQrK2jo

In a previous documentary I noticed when he was interviewed at one of his homes, he had either a Wurlitzer 1015 or a more modern, "One More Time" jukebox in his living room, I was quite envious!
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2014, 08:40
Zizu58
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,588
I enjoyed the programme, however, I prefer the songs to actually watching him sing. Same goes for Barry Manilow, lovely songs, but it makes me cringe to watch him singing them.
At least he's got a tremendous voice though , we saw him at the M.E.N. a few years back and his voice was better then than it was 25 years earlier !
Zizu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2014, 11:10
sbeck201
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Carlisle, Cumbria
Posts: 52
I caught the repeat last night and thought it was very good. He came across well, if a little 'show-business', but seems genuine and is a real talent.
sbeck201 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2014, 17:59
Lateralthinking
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,677
I have watched this programme now a couple of times. I really enjoyed it and have found the contributions on this thread very interesting. 1970s era Sedaka is meaningful to me. Long before I officially started going to gigs - the Teardrop Explodes was the first of hundreds - I saw Neil live at 12 or 13 as part of a family group.

While I note the uneasiness of some, I think there are choices to be made in the way he is perceived. Either you see the cabaret side or the songcraft. I enjoy a very wide range of music and can therefore appreciate any qualms. But for me, the songcraft wins every time and, just as with Jimmy Webb, it gives me a lot of pleasure.
Lateralthinking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2014, 23:11
owllover
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,990
I hadn't seen this programme before. It's so interesting.

What a lovely man he is.

Edit. I'm just at the Solitaire point.
owllover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2014, 00:36
Doghouse Riley
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North-West England
Posts: 16,662
I hadn't seen this programme before. It's so interesting.

What a lovely man he is.

Edit. I'm just at the Solitaire point.
I started this thread as I've always admired his ability though I wouldn't say he was one of my favourites from the 50/60s era but I have got a couple of his records in one of my jukeboxes.

You can change some well written songs from "happy" to "sad" just by altering the tempo.
An example of one, is his "Breaking Up is Hard to Do."
He recorded it again, about twenty years after the up-tempo original, it has a simple chord structure, like many good pop songs..

I like to play this on on my electric piano.
Doghouse Riley is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:26.